Oman: Lutsenko wins second straight title, Kristoff crashes

Alexey Lutsenko takes his second consecutive Tour of Oman title as Giacomo Nizzolo triumphs in stage 6.

Alexey Lutsenko of Astana won the Tour of Oman Thursday for the second consecutive year.

The Kazakh rider finished safely in the pack to claim victory, having entered stage 6 with a 44-second lead over Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and a 47-second advantage over Jesus Herrada (Cofidis). Those time gaps did not change at the conclusion of the race.

“I’m delighted to win this race again after last year’s victory. This time I felt even better during the whole race, and together with the support I received from my teammates this edition was even more successful with three stage wins,” Lutsenko said. “It’s nice to have this confirmation of my form, now it’s important that I bring this feeling to the first goals of the season.”

Winning Thursday’s 136-kilometer stage from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Cornichestage was Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data), who beat Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Davide Ballerini (Astana) in a sprint.

The stage was marred by a crash with around 50km left. The pileup resulted in Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) exiting the race with deep gashes on his arm and knee. The team said Kristoff received stitches in his left wrist after he crashed at speed into a heap of bikes and riders in front of him.

It was unclear what caused the wounds.

“The race went well for us. Kristoff won a stage and finished second the day after. In the climbing stages, Rui Costa showed good form and that’s a good sign heading towards the UAE Tour,” said UAE Team Emirates sport director Simone Pedrazzini, referencing Costa’s fourth-place finish in the GC.

“Unfortunately in the last stage, Kristoff was held up by a crash. That’s the only bad point on what has been a great and competitive trip out to Oman.”